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“Do not teach in a darkened classroom.”

From an interview with Julian Young, in Figure/Ground.


What makes a good teacher today? How do you manage to command attention in an age of interruption characterized by attention deficit and information overflow?

It is very difficult to give a general answer to this question, for teaching, like love, is an intuitive business that cannot properly be articulate[d] in rules and procedures. (That is why one should never go to a ‘teaching-improvement workshop’.) One thing to do is to stop complaining about students. Sure, they suffer from ADD but one needs to get into the habit of liking them, of not regarding them as the enemy, patients, cannon fodder, or a necessary evil. Students tend to respond well to someone they sense wishes them well. Never let students think that your real life is research – work that happens out of the classroom – try to make it the case, so far as possible, that (as in the nineteenth-century) your research and teaching are one and the same. Do not pander too much to the demand for ‘visual aids’. Do not teach in a darkened classroom and, especially, do not structure you[r] lecture around a set of ‘bullet points’ projected onto a screen. Remember that bullet points are discrete while thought is continuous so that what bullet points represent is, in fact, the death of thought…


UD thanks Dirk for the link.

Margaret Soltan, June 20, 2011 4:17PM
Posted in: powerpoint pissoff, professors

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